I hope you will see this is a beautiful place. At times, we see things that haunt us. At other times, we see things that make us grateful to have been called here.
We observe the lives people are living and the struggles they have. We see them celebrating their families and sometimes, simply trying to earn money for rent and food.
We notice that people, in general, all want the same things: safety, comforts, provision for themselves and their families, dignity, purpose, to be noticed and to be respected.
I love it here. I pray we never have to leave. How else to explain what I know except to say "we belong here"? We do. We know this.
Here is a look at our part of The Philippines, our home, through our camera lens.
|An obvious play on the "Wal Mart" name. It's a store with a little bit of everything.|
|Some young men hanging out by a creek that is swollen from the recent tropical storm|
|A little boy walking quickly to . . . wherever he's going.|
|The home here is a shack but notice the motorcycles and clean laundry outside.|
|The irony of this photo is, the people who built shacks on this land are undoubtedly squatters and therefore, trespassing! You see this everywhere here.|
|A typical home that is very close to the busy, main road.|
|These goats were walking freely down the street, careful to stay on the sidewalk as traffic went by.|
|The Manila skyline. Notice the community under the bridge? They have made it their home.|
|Men at work|
|Another community by the river.|
|Again, the Manila skyline and the vast squatter shacks that are in it's shadow.|
|A home by the dump. We see people going through the trash (many children) as we drive by. It is how some survive. Finding things to recycle.|
|A fruit stand off the highway. The fruit here is absolutely amazing! Mangoes, pineapples, bananas . . . so GOOD!!!|
|These girls were petting this pig in front of a house as we came by. It will probably be lechon later . . . ha ha . . .|
|A local outreach for street kids that has been good enough to let us participate. They are building wonderful leaders out of their older kids.|
|Kuya Ariel holding Zeke as the kids from outreach wait for Mr. Anthony to drive them home in the rain. Such an honor to serve them, even in this small way.|
Door are opening and we are prayerfully walking through them.
We covet your prayers and we prepare to invite the children who need us into our lives. We ask you to pray that we serve with excellence, that we keep the fire, that we communicate clearly the love of Jesus and that we not grow weary. We ask you to lift up, in your prayers, an upcoming fundraiser for The Bartimaeus Project that will take place in the states (details will be shared soon).
Most of all, we ask that you pray that our whole family is able to lift up the name of Jesus in all we do. This is so much more about HIM than it is about us and we want to make HIS name great among the people we meet.
More of Him, less of us!
Thank you, friends.